June 2, 2017 Subject:
Not quite what you expect
I first saw this movie back in college, for a film class. We were (not surprisingly) discussing censorship in movies. The Hays Code in particular. You can look it up if you're curious, but it bans quite a lot. Child Bride was produced outside the studio system where they didn't have to care about the Hays rules. For those who might be wondering, since there seem to be conflicting statements in other reviews, yes - the date of birth listed for actress Shirley Mills on imdb is in fact correct. She was 12 at the time. To the day she died, she herself never felt exploited by the production. But she became exasperated with interviewers constantly wanting to talk about that, so she started telling people she was older when the movie was made. Just so they could move on and discuss things she felt like talking about.
I have to say, I understand her position. Those expecting something horribly scandalous will be underwhelmed. The skinny dipping scene truly does not live up to its notoriety. Our barely pubescent actress doesn't yet have the body of a woman and there's nothing sexual at all about the scene. The nudity is like what you often see in European films, where (for example) they show people naked on the beach. If that doesn't offend you, neither should the swimming scene. The sole purpose of this segment seems to be showing us how the villain of the piece comes to take an interest in young Jenny as he spies on her from the rocks above. What the intent of the original filmmakers was is impossible to say. But if you read through the Hays Code it almost seems like they deliberately wrote a screenplay that violated as many of its prohibitions as possible while still maintaining a coherent plot. In other words it was a raised middle finger to the organization we know today as the MPAA.
The movie is campy, in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 sort of way. Its potrayal of the hillfolk is pure stereotype. I especially loved the one room log cabin schoolhouse with bathrooms labelled "Ma" and "Pa", and birds nesting in the rafters. One of them even craps on a student in the middle of class. People wear the same clothes every day and no one except for the teacher seems to own a pair of shoes. There are multiple murders, bad guy Jake blackmails Jennie's mother into giving her consent so he can marry her daughter, and the crusading teacher has to be rescued from a mob intent on tarring and feathering her. There's a dwarf named Angelo who Jake pisses off, and figures into the story again near the end. On Jennie's wedding night her boyfriend Freddie ... well, I won't tell you the ending but this being redneck country a shotgun is involved.
For a totally amateur production from the 1930's this isn't too bad. I mean, it's not exactly Citizen Kane but it's the perfect example of a decently made B movie. There are a couple of somewhat disturbing scenes. I found Jake's gift of a rag doll to Jenny a little bit creepy, and watching her get ready for bed awaiting her new husband you feel so bad for her. What a horrible situation! But compared to more recent cinema Child Bride is pretty tame. If you've got an hour to kill and feel like something contrived and ridiculous in an entertaining way, go on Amazon Prime and watch this film.
February 26, 2013 Subject:
Moral of Story
NEVER EVER even THINK ABOUT tossing a Dwarf!!!!!!
December 26, 2011 Subject:
Reality can be troubling
This (short) movie encapsulates a real, if troubling, aspect of small, isolated communities, whether a mountain community, a jungle tribe or a current-day commune. One of the actors states the problem: "We don't have enough women."
With a limited number of child-bearing women available, the men will aggressively pursue them. The problem comes in defining when a girl becomes a child-bearing-capable woman. One day, she isn't; the next day she is. There will always be men lined up to be the one who gets her, and someone will always jump the gun. A community as depicted in the film, which, I suspect, is not uncommon (even today), allows this because they deem it vital to their very survival - to growing the community.
The nude swimming scene illustrates the problem of deciding when a girl is deemed (by that community or by a given man) to be a woman. The girl acts like a girl, but her body is beginning to look like a woman's. The community "standard" can be inferred from the old woman's comment to the sneak-peeking man: "She's pretty, isn't she?"
I think my mother and her mother both were married and pregnant at age 13, although not for the same reason depicted in the film. I always found that somewhat shocking, but, at least, they were married. Today, our society has girls that age having unprotected sex and getting pregnant with no husband in sight. Which is more troubling?
November 7, 2011 Subject:
This is the first movie I have watched since joining the Archive, and I am got intrigued. Blackmail, incest, jealousy, first love, puberty, 1930s statutory rape laws. This movie has so many implications and issues in a very short movie of about an hour. The ending was very surprising for me.
July 26, 2011 Subject:
Blackmailed forcible wedding is the real issue here
In a pretty miserable looking community of barefoot moonshiners, there are two murders, one blackmail, one unexplained attempted murder, an attempted tar-and-feathering, and a funeral with goats dragged along (why?). Most other remarks in previous comments concern things that exist more in the commenters' own imaginations than in this film. Highlights of the movie were the attempted dwarf-toss and the swimming dog splashing water.
July 26, 2011 Subject:
This is a wonderful film! It was well worth 2 hours it took to download with mp4. it could be a true story, from what I know about the hill folk West Virginia. anyone that offended by the nudity, musta been born fully clothed. I am 62 years old, And have never owned swimming trunks. People who equate sex and nudity, as one subject will never know what its like To be intimately close to another human being, Without someone getting screwed. I am a practicing natureist, and spent weeks with other couples and families, nude, and never had sex outside of my marriage. I think
Nudity was tasteful and innocent, and anyone who's offended should look into their own fears!
January 31, 2011 Subject:
Exploitation from a Master!!!
Kroger Babb distributed this, so you know its exploitation and shouldn't be taken to seriously.
It was reissued as "Child Brides of the Ozarks"
in what has been described as a censored version.
So it is possible that this film was a target of the Hays office, but was independent of the studio system, so it usually only had to worry about local censorship. So Babb would just skip cities that he knew were tough. The fact that this print is uncut is simply indicative of the fact that some uncut print survived. Most distributors swipe these PD films from their competitors all the time. So it is likely that this cut was copied from and Alpha Video or Something Weird DVD and one probably swiped from the other so its likely the same exact print either way.
There is some dispute as to how old Shirley Mills actually was when this film was made. Most sources claim that she was 12 and post her birth date. But, Shirley herself has claimed that she was actually much older. She does come across as an older actress playing 12 to me. She certainly has a mature voice and seems more sophisticated.
So, as I watched this film fro the first time I really didn't think about whether or not I should be watching it or if it is child porn. I was under the impression that I was seeing an adult. A lot of actors and their agents lied about the ages and birth dates of their actors, so anything is possible. Another film to raise eyebrows in more recent times was American Beauty, in which the two under age stars did nude scenes. So it's still something to think about.
I think that Child Bride is quite underrated. Some of the situations are so strange that it is hard to relate in 2011. It is a true product of its time, and should be viewed as such. The acting is pretty good and I found Miss Mills to be very charming, both in and out of her clothes,
and I firmly believe that censored versions, such as TV cuts probably don't subtract from her performance. I'd go so far as to say she is pretty adorable and found her horror convincing. One sequence implying rape and incest left me really quite shaken, in that "wanna reach into the screen and clobber that pervert" sort of way.
As for the premise; This sort of thing is still going on today.
Overall, a pretty good exploitation film. If it doesn't make you uncomfortable, as it is designed to, then you need CPR.
February 7, 2010 Subject:
k-otic for shame..!
Rip Off Of A "Something Wild" DVD..!
December 10, 2009 Subject:
Worth A Watch
This movie is about the practice of child marriage in what looks like the Ozarks area. But there is more to this movie than just that. I think that it also tries to show the struggles that were faced by the people that lived in that time and place. The acting is pretty good although a little stiff. The plot is fairly well written but, could have been better. There are certain things about this movie that some will find disturbing. All and all it is worth a watch.
November 29, 2007 Subject:
Dthis could have been effective without the nudity
The message is ostensibly useful, and there's lots of pathos, but the child nudity in the swimming hole footage could have been edited out.
Good message, overall, but it reinforves the notion of hillbillies being child molestors and I can't really scene where 4 minutes of a pre-pubescent girl swimming naked serves anything but to tittilate them.
Perhaps it was thought effective in that era.
May 13, 2007 Subject:
My 2 Cents
I haven't seen this film yet, but I will be interested to see how the characters are handled having come from an area that would have been considered the setting at the time it was made.
I live in Latvia now and my Latvian, Russian and Lithuanian are not good enough to watch TV or even have meaningful conversations with most of the people here. I'm not a highly skilled computer expert, so if I download one file and I cann't get it to work, I try another. Usually I find something that works, I've actually had very few problems. So, I wish you'd all lay off with your righteous pontificating about minutiae that doesn't amount to ant mucking in my opinion---downloading and enjoying these films are one of the few entertaining outlets I have, and I for one am grateful to K-Otic for taking the time and making the effort so that they are there for me to enjoy.
March 21, 2007 Subject:
This part of the page is for reviewing the artistic aspects of the film
First, if you have a physical problem with with the film, look to the left of the page under "Resources" and click on the "Report Problem" link. You will usually find that the problem is with whatever software you are using to download or play the film, not with the film. I've downloaded and played over 400 films off of this site, including a bunch people were whining about and never had a single problem. If it's any help, I use an Apple computer running System 10.39, Safari to download, Final Cut Pro for editing, DVD Studio Pro to put together and burn dvds if I want, and Quicktime 7 to play the film files on my computer. It all always works.
Second, if you want to express an opinion about something other than a particular film's artistic merit, the people in the film,or some history about the film; there is a place at the bottom of the archive.org home page to blather all you want about irrelevant topics.
Lastly, I'm glad that the people associated with archive.org are willing to take their precious time and spend it bringing us old film that are decaying and will soon be gone except for them. Let's use this site the way it is made to be used and let them get on with their important work.
Maybe if I repeat the above enough, everyone will get the message. 'Nuf Said.
As to the film, it's hard hitting and gets it's point across strongly. It would be interesting to talk with the people who made the film and hear their take on why they made the movie. Were they just trying to make a strong drama, or did they have the same motive as the school teacher in the movie? Maybe someone out there knows.
February 14, 2007 Subject:
As regards the actual film...
The plot line is a little thin (okay, a LOT thin), but the characterizations are good enough to make this film worth watching. There's a lot of sensationalism in this one that I'm kind of surprised the Hays code would allow, including some nudity. Angelo Rossitto's moonshining dwarf character looks like he was written in for comic relief, but ends up coming off as a character to be taken seriously.
I was a little hesitant in downloading this one, as several IMDb commentors had brought up a scene of 12-year-old Shirley Mills skinny-dipping. As it turns out, it was a really effective way of getting across to the audience what stage of development she and her male friend are at. Their teacher (who is also campaigning against child marriage) has cautioned them that they must not swim together. They have reached a stage where sex differences are beginning to matter, but they're not quite old enough to understand the import of this. It's a little simplistic, but it works in the context. It's also more indicative of innocence than an appeal to prurience.
The treatment of rural people was surprisingly well-done. The director resisted the temptation to use Lil Abner-style caricatures, and the picture benefits from that. The one-room schoolhouse looks like the stories my grandmother told of schoolmarming during the Depression, and the children are neither too cutesy nor too wooden.
Looking at IMDb, I found it curiouus how many of the actors in this don't seem to have any other credits. I wonder if they used actual hill people for some of the parts, or if it was simply so low-budget that even lesser-known professional actors weren't feasible to use.
Incidentally, I downloaded the MPEG1 and it played just fine for me. That's the format I usually download, and I've never had a problem with video quality that way. I can't say I've noticed a difference between K-otic's uploads and anybody else's, but I don't use the MPEG2.
February 13, 2007 Subject:
Trust me, I don't think ANYTHING will stop k-otic. I know I sound like an ingrate for ragging on someone who posts a lot here, but it's as easy to do things right as it is to do them wrong, and k-otic seems hell-bent on making wacky files. I once downloaded a movie of his which was HALF NTSC and HALF PAL, for crying out loud. You can't make a movie that way accidentally; you have to TRY to screw it up.
I've downloaded tons of stuff from this site, and every mpg2 burns directly into a dvd EXCEPT for k-otic's. This time I'm mad at myself, because I swore I'd never waste time and bandwidth downloading another of his files, but grabbed Child Bride without noticing the poster. When my dvd authoring program came up with an error message, my first thought was, "Oh... I'll bet it's k-otic". Sure enough...
February 12, 2007 Subject:
I didn't mean to spur a debate.
Look, I can make a DVD with it and yes I do re-encode it but I would do that anyway so I can de-interlace the signal. It looks better on my HDTV. The process I use is relatively painless and there is negligible loss in quality. Granted making DVD's is part of my job. k-otic, is one of the biggest posters here, I would hate for him to stop because of the negative feedback.
February 11, 2007 Subject:
You must be using software/harware from 2000 dude!
February 6, 2007 Subject:
same old... same old